There’s a reason past eras referred to many tasks as ‘trying’, as its through trying that we learn how to succeed
Over the past five years I’ve worked with many people who want to learn how to ride a bike and/or improve their current cycling skills. Since March this year Ride-a-Bike Right has been delivering a four-week program in school to children from Reception-yr 4.
As someone who has been riding since I was four years old I always want to see young children being able to control and ride their own bikes; one of the goals in our schools’ program is to get children riding without training wheels. It has been good to see the number of school age kids who have a bike and enjoy riding, albeit many of them are still on training wheels, nonetheless they are on a bike! When I have a ‘training wheels’ group I ask: ‘Who would like to learn to ride a bike with out training wheels?’ I may get 1-2 say yes, and I find it disappointing that many of the kids aren’t prepared to take the chance to learn.
The children that do take the chance find that they are able to change their worldview to ‘I can ride a bike without training wheels’ and are soon ‘graduated’ to the group that is learning how to control and manoeuvre their bike to increase their cycling skills.
One 7 yo boy had said he wanted to learn, I gave him a bike and the specific instructions required and less than 60 sec later he got off his bike and said ‘I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to learn,’ I told him get back on the bike, and (I kid you not) 10 mins later he was pedalling around with a massive grin across his face.
In an age where choice seems to be a right that children are given, it is often this ‘right’ that falters them as they choose the easy choice and don’t seek to extend their abilities in a time where learning is so easy and natural. So if you are out and about with your children this week, maybe teaching a little (or not-so-little) one to get off training wheels, I urge you to be firm in your encouragement of learning new skills and to promote persistence in seeing an exercise through the trying stages to success